The best way to understand the mechanism of plaque and tartar retention on teeth is to think of plaque as sticky cement--a little like old-fashioned library paste. This paste, however, is loaded with bacteria. This soft material gets everywhere in the mouth. It forms readily on the surfaces of the teeth, between the teeth, in the crevices between the gum tissue and the tooth surface, in the grooves and fissures on the biting surfaces of the teeth, and even on the top surface of the tongue.
The bacteria in plaque and tartar cause major problems. The bacterial mass is held tightly to the tooth surface and quickly turns certain foods, such as sugars and starches, into decay-producing acid. The acid dissolves the tooth structure and causes cavities, which are also called dental caries.
This bacterial mass also produces irritating substances, which cause gum and bone disease, known as gingivitis and periodontitis. Gum disease is the most significant reason for tooth loss in adults.
Recommendations that will help prevent cavities and gum diseases include: Use a soft toothbrush with fluoride toothpaste at least twice a day. A dental care professional can help teach both adults and children how to brush effectively.Floss at least twice a day. Be careful not to injure the gums when flossing.Brush the top surface of the tongue lightly to reduce the white or gray coating which naturally occurs there. This will help eliminate some of the bacteria and helps prevent unpleasant breath.Mouthwash is pleasant but is not as helpful as brushing. Specific oral care instructions should be obtained from a dental healthcare professional. There are many sources of free material to help you learn the best way to brush and floss. An individual should not hesitate to ask questions.